Nation Current Affairs 16 Feb 2019 Veterans point to In ...

Veterans point to Intelligence agencies failure in Pulwama terror attack

Published Feb 16, 2019, 1:33 am IST
Updated Feb 16, 2019, 1:33 am IST
Questions raised on how explosives could cross border, vehicle could clear checks.
Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy district CRPF and RAF personnel take part in a candlelight march on Necklace Road on Friday in support of their colleagues killed in a terror attack in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, on Thursday. 	— DC
 Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy district CRPF and RAF personnel take part in a candlelight march on Necklace Road on Friday in support of their colleagues killed in a terror attack in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, on Thursday. — DC

Hyderabad: CRPF personnel who have worked in the Kashmir Valley, blame malfunction by Intelligence agencies posted in Pulwama for the car bombing attack in which 44 CRPF pesonnel were killed on Thursday.

“The suicide bomber meticulously planned his path through the check posts. Not to forget, he was carrying 300 kg of explosives,” said a retired official. “He crossed borders with material to carry out the deadly attack. How can intel fail so badly?”


Lieutenant General Mohan Bhandari (Retd.), who has served in the Valley during the insurgency, said that about 3-4 hours before the CRPF convoy is scheduled to move, a road opening party clears the path.

Led by a senior-rank officer, the road opening party looks for landmines, instals jammers and sanitises the zone. That apart, there are umpteen check posts and soldiers who guard the convoy.

However, they failed to detect the driver carrying 300 kg of RDX. “Who helped him load explosives into the vehicle? How could he smuggle the material through the borders? Did locals inside the Valley work as his conduit? Are the people of Pulwana village part of this massacre? Intelligence agencies will need to answer these questions,” Gen. Bhandari said.

He said: “The suicide bomber knew the exact spot to intercept. That means the militant had carried out a recce. Reports say those who died had a few bullet injuries. Why didn't the force counter the firing? It is a complete failure on the ground force posted in the Valley.”

The Central armed forces constitute among the largest body of troops in the world. The country has around 7 lakh personnel. The training and capability of the CRPF is of high quality and they are equipped with the best of weapons. However, it is only in recent times that CRPF jawans were provided with bulletproof jackets in onsurgency and disturbed areas. Terrorist activities in the Valley date back to 1989.

“The insurgency was at its peak when Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s daughter Rubaiya was kidnapped in 1989. These are attempts to bleed India with a hundred cuts because Pakistan cannot win a war with us,” said Gen. Bhandari.

Former director-general of CRPF and ex-DGP of Punjab Julio Francis Ribeiro, who was in service during the Punjab insurgency, said, “Suicide bombers are considered the worst terrorists, they are difficult to stop. But how can explosives be ferried across the border with a militant when infiltration has been tightened. Usually, intel agencies on the ground are razor sharp. How did they fail? How did they go blind in the entire preparation.”

Paramilitary forces work in one of the toughest conditions. It is hard to believe that as late as 2015, some CRPF camps stationed in Maoist states like Andhra Pradesh did not have 24x7 power. It was only after a hue and cry was raised in Parliament, that the ministry of a home in 2015 released funds for diesel generator sets to each CRPF unit.

It was only four years back that the MHA released funds for procurement of LED lighting systems, solar devices and generator sets to meet the power requirement by the Central security forces deployed in LWE areas.

The MHA tries to keep them happy by increasing their house rent allowance and incentives if the personnel live on attack-prone borders.

Additional allowances and incentives to personnel deployed in anti-Maoist operations get risk allowance, HRA and extension of the facility was increased in 2018.

Location: India, Telangana, Hyderabad